December 15, 1997 |
All that is right and wrong with mainstream country music was laid bare at the Pond of Anaheim on Saturday night. Wrapping up this year's most successful country music tour--grossing $33 million in 69 stops--Reba McEntire and the duo of Brooks & Dunn offered quite a study in contrasts during their co-headlining, 75-minute sets. Both performed in-the-round before a sold-out crowd that cheered their every move. But the similarities ended right there.
December 11, 1997 |
There is no mistaking today's mainstream country music for much more than a business. The sound tilts toward the slick and proven to the near-exclusion of the raw and unorthodox, and the sales-obsessed leader of the pack, Garth Brooks, won't ever be mistaken for the guy in the Neil Young song who counsels that "numbers add up to nothin'."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 1997 |
Brooks & Dunn were named entertainers of the year at the 32nd Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday, while teenage sensation LeAnn Rimes was crowned country's best new singer. "There's a God and country music is very much alive and well in America," Ronnie Dunn said after entertainer Jay Leno handed over the evening's top award to him and partner Kix Brooks. The pair also won the prize for top duet.
April 13, 1996 |
The Boston newcomer has a nice, firm voice that she wraps around lyrics just quirky enough to grab your attention without galling your intelligence. But then she starts shrieking. Or the music swells in a nanosecond from a sort of lilting alterna-folk to ferocious guitar rock. When she sticks with one in-between style for an entire song, as on the hummable "The One," she shows the promise that has earned her a cult following back East.
April 13, 1996 |
Every song on the fourth album from country's boot scootin' duo replays an already familiar theme, without the least twist or fresh glance that might make such territory worth revisiting. "I Am That Man" is "I Swear, Part II," there are two "Friday's here--let's party" rockers and not one but two Jimmy Buffett knock-offs: "More Than a Margarita" and "Tequila Town."
October 22, 1994 |
What's the secret of the wildly successful country-music team of Brooks & Dunn? Simple. They aren't really a team at all. During their 75-minute concert Thursday at the Greek Theatre, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn functioned more like one of those picture-in-picture TV sets: twice as much to watch as single-picture models with no discernible impact on the quality of either program. In fact, for an act that just won its third straight award as top vocal duo from the Country Music Assn.
May 13, 1993 |
Garth who? Billy Ray what? Could it be that Brooks and Cyrus are already old hat? It was Brooks & Dunn, who have achieved only a fraction of the mainstream pop recognition of their competitors, who came away the big winners during Tuesday's Academy of Country Music Awards telecast. If the academy's 4,000 voting members have their way, Kix and Ronnie--who scored trophies in three out of four nominated categories--may be the industry's next household first names.